The EU handshake

Through the EU handshake, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde is inviting relevant actors to help strengthen participation, knowledge and engagement in EU-related issues in Sweden.

  • Photo: Ninni Andersson, Government Offices

  • Photo: Ninni Andersson, Government Offices

An ‘EU handshake’ means that actors undertake measures to strengthen participation, knowledge and engagement in Sweden regarding issues decided on in the EU. Each actor makes a commitment based on their own conditions and identified needs, e.g. improving knowledge about the EU in their own organisation, or disseminating information about their work in the EU to a greater extent. The EU handshake should entail an increased level of ambition in the EU-related work of each actor.

Within the framework of the EU handshake, the Government has undertaken to strengthen its dialogue procedures with civil society, social partners and other actors on issues decided at EU level, offer training to elected representatives and those employed in municipalities and county councils, and carry out educational measures in schools.

The first EU handshakes were entered into on 7 December 2016 and included the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, the Swedish Agency for Government Employers, the European Parliament Information Office in Sweden and the Representation of the European Commission in Sweden. Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde has since entered into EU handshakes with other relevant actors.

One important aspect of the work is the local and regional EU handshakes entered into with municipalities, regions, and other key actors at local and regional level.

In the first half of 2018, actors who have entered into EU handshakes will be invited to take part in a collective dialogue forum. The purpose of the forum is to follow up the EU handshakes, and to discuss the future of the EU.